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8 sanitation steps to reduce problems with small flies

Fruit flies and other small flies like them may be tiny nuisance pests but they can cause big issues for your restaurant and create unhappy customers. Sanitation is critical to preventing fruit fly activity. Take these 8 easy steps to keep fruit flies out of your establishment.

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Clean drains regularly

Drains, especially those that serve soda machines, accumulate slime that serves as prime breeding material for small flies. Clean drains, drain covers, and drain baskets weekly. Use protective equipment.

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Tips to prevent small fly infestations

  • CLEAN DRAINS REGULARLY - Broken tile and grout collects organic debris and serves as a prime breeding source for small flies. Gaps between the floor and wall can also be problematic. Repair damage or seal gaps immediately.

  • DEPLOYING A MIXED ASSESSMENT PROGRAM - If you deploy a program by mixing in announced assessments occasionally, over time you can track three things: a team’s performance, a team’s demonstrated capability and trending improvement. And as I see it, the goal of any assessment program should be to do more than simply monitor compliance. It should be to drive improvement.

  • CLEAN UNDER EQUIPMENT DAILY - Small fly-attracting organic debris, trash, and moisture can become trapped under and behind equipment and prep lines. If possible, move equipment to clean these spaces. Use a flashlight to spot problems.

  • REMOVE EQUIPMENT ACCESS PANELS - Food, moisture, dust, and other organic build up collects quickly in, behind, and under equipment. Remove access panels to clean or have professional cleaning scheduled on a regular basis.

  • USE A COMMERCIAL FLOOR FAN - After cleaning at night, use a commercial floor fan to help dry wet floors and remove standing water. Removing excess moisture is a powerful deterrent against small flies.

  • CLEAN SODA & BAR DRIP TRAYS - The sugars in soda and beer are highly attractive to small flies. Clean soda fountain and beer tap drip trays, and underneath them, daily to prevent problems.

  • HANG MOPS TO DRY - Mop heads that remain wet are an unsuspected place for fruit flies to breed. Hang mops upside down to dry. Change mop heads regularly to avoid accumulating organic debris.

  • FIFO ROTATION FOR PRODUCE - Fruit flies are attracted to produce that is beginning to “go bad” and can even breed in produce that is rotten. Practice First In, First Out rotation to avoid problems.

Checklist for bar areas: a fruit fly hotspot

  • Clean spill tray drain lines at the counter level daily.

  • Clean soda guns and soda gun holsters daily.

  • When possible, seal or cover bottles of alcohol, especially at night.

  • When not in use, store bar fruits in sealed containers.

  • Clean floor drains weekly.

  • Correct any conditions creating wet wood.

  • Do not power spray/hose floors.

  • Use a zip tie to raise beverage lines off the floor

  • Ensure that all equipment has a minimum of 6 inches clearance to the floor for ease of cleaning under equipment.

Helpful hint for problems in the trash area

Seeing fruit flies around garbage and recycling areas? Since both indoor and outdoor bins collect food and beverage waste, they can have food scraps, pools of liquid, or sticky residues that accumulate in the bottom, even when liners or trash bags are used. These organic residues are the perfect hidden attractants, and sometimes breeding locations, for small flies. Use soap, water, and good old elbow grease to clean the cans and eliminate your problems. 

For more help with small flies, contact the experts at Steritech.


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